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With change at Pine/Bellevue, Bellevue Terrace joins the development revival

UPDATE: A new rendering provided to us by Roger Newell (Image: Roger Newell)

After reporting that the charred, graffiti-covered empty apartment building at Pine and Bellevue is finally coming down to make way for a new mixed-use development, CHS has learned that plans for a neighboring development have also been dusted off and put in motion to create a new 6-story, 23-unit residential and retail building at 1623 Bellevue.

We first reported on the design process for the building two years ago in January 2009. At the time, CHS praised the project for its boldness of planning a 1:2 parking stall to residential unit ratio. It looks like either our math was off or they’ve dropped yet another parking spot from the design — Bellevue Terrace appears to be moving forward with only a planned 11 underground parking spots for its 23 living units.

The development will also add another 1,000+ square feet of retail space to the area. The neighboring incoming development will include 13,000 square feet of retail and 118 apartment units.


The structure to the left is the new development coming in at Pine and Bellevue. At center is Bellevue Terrace (All images: Roger Newell)

This fall, the property’s owners Nina and Matthew Barnett began paying the last of the some $24,000 in fees to DPD the project has cost over its three-year path to construction. According to city records, the construction cost is being reported as just over $3 million. For comparison, its 118-unit neighbor has a reported construction cost of more than $11 million.

DPD has now approved the full set of permits required for the project to start — including the permit to demolish the existing 11-unit building which appeared to have residents in recent visits to the area.

Below, we’ve embedded the design review document for the project from 2009. We have a message out to Bellevue Terrace architect Roger Newell for details on any updates to the plans for the newly revived infill project and will update if we learn more.


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20 thoughts on “With change at Pine/Bellevue, Bellevue Terrace joins the development revival

  1. Place across the street always has plenty of parking spaces to rent.

    Hate to say it, but I don’t find the look of this building too offensive. Almost like it…
    Beats what is there now, that’s for sure.

    By labeling it ‘residential’, does that mean it hasn’t been decided if it will be apartments or condos? Ah, read further in the development objective – rentals.

  2. I agree. I’m all for public transportation and will use it any time I can to avoid driving my car. But I’d never buy or rent anywhere that required me to then spend away another $200/mo (or more) parking space to rent. All around CapHill, CD, Madison Valley, etc, every time a big house comes down replaced with 4 townhouses to the lot, people move in with 2 cars per tiny garage. Where do all those cars go? Onto the neighborhood streets. Wishing away the need for parking won’t make it so.

  3. Some people choose not to have a car at all. With that location and a job downtown, and zipcars all over the place for trips to costco, why would you want a car? That location feels very similar to places I lived in DC and Philly, and I never had a car then.

  4. While I agree that driving and car-use should be curbed. Seattle is nothing like DC when it comes to transportation. I have lived and worked all over the DC area for five years. DC has a working 24 hour subway/metro system that runs throughout the city and into the outlining suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. Stations can be found within 5 blocks in DC Metro. And if the tunnels are shut down for any reason, the buses run continuously. Seattle, try catching a bus after 10 pm and you will be waiting . . . and waiting in the cold rain. Also, I use a car (Prius) primarily to meet clients. Most zip-cars require that you schedule ahead of time. I don’t know when or where clients are going to want to meet me. So really, we can’t start removing parking until we start fixing the transportation system and Zip-car provides better service.

    Seattle Architects Coates Design specializes in green building and sustainable design.

  5. It’s sized for a neighborhood business!! No way! A developer that understands scale!

    To those that naysay the lack of parking, this building is like 3 blocks from the transportation hub of the region. If you need a place with parking, don’t move to this building. Hell, don’t move to any of the classic buildings on the hill either. Most only offer on-street parking. Besides, the block eating Belmont & Pine project is going to have more parking than actual apartments, so move there I suppose.

    If you are conscious of where you are actually living (i.e. the most pedestrian and transit oriented neighborhood in the city) then move into this building and lobby for more.

    To the Seattle alternative transport naysayers, it makes no sense to compare us to an east coast city (NYC, DC, and Philly have nothing on Shanghai, so there.) or cities that are larger. Compare us to Portland or Vancouver. I will save you the trouble actually:

    Seattle to Portland: Their rail system is impressive and much larger than ours, and also has had a 30 year head start. Our bus system trumps theirs in terms of frequency and service area.

    Seattle to Vancouver: Skytrain is the largest automated rapid transit system in the world. Enough said. They also have a 30 year head start. The bus system is pretty much comparable, with better night bus service in Van.

    There we go.

  6. Perhaps they can “accidentally” knock over that beige vinyl’d nightmare to the right while they’re at it.

  7. Seattle Architect, you are being charitable. A lot of Seattle’s buses don’t even run with much frequency after 6pm let alone 10pm. When I was at my “greenest”, I worked downtown and took the bus to/from work. Sometimes my car didn’t move for days. Waiting for the #2 (a pretty frequent bus by Seattle standards) was a punishing experience after 6pm. Always packed and always S-L-O-W. Literally took as long to get from Convention Ctr. to home as to drive from the Eastside. You will never win friends by advocating parking spaces in Seattle– there’s always some self-righteous holier-than-thou “I walk or bike or bus or use Zipcars, everywhere, etc sort” who frames the issue as if parking spaces are anathema to transit interests. But the 2 are not mutually exclusive. Doing away with parking hasn’t done anything in and by itself to increase transit options. In the last few years as developments with parking disappear I haven’t seen any offsetting increase in transit– in fact, exactly the opposite is true.

  8. Here’s a solution, don’t rent here. Nobody is forcing the developers to limit parking here, it seems their estimates show that their is sufficient demand for housing without a parking space. It’s not really a surprise, the Pacific Place garage loses money and the Macy’s garage recently went into foreclosure. Parking is expensive and if people can make money without that cost, they will. It’s hard to argue with economics.

    If you currently have a parking spot, you should also consider that you are implicitly paying for it through opportunity costs. If you gave up your car and rented it out, it sounds like you could make about $200 a month. Is owning your own vehicle worth more than that?

  9. Awww… I always though that little Scandinavian-looking building had some charm (especially in comparison to its neighbors). This new proposal does appear to have some potential, though.

  10. JimS, you call attention to one of the most egregious aspects of the “townhouse explosion” in recent years. Not only are they cheaply-designed, ugly, and cramped, but the teeny “parking garages” are almost impossible to manuever into even with a small car, and they are used mainly as storage spaces. Thus, the vehicle(s) are parked on our streets, worsening the parking crunch in many areas.

    It is a sad comment on our City’s municipal codes that these things are allowed. I sure hope someone of authority is trying to change this situation, but in a way the “horse is already out of the barn” because there are so many of these townhouse clusters existing in our neighborhoods.

  11. calhoun, If you’re concerned about people using on-street parking for long term parking then institute short term metering, it doesn’t even matter how much you charge so much as the periods are short. If you’re worried about the lack of on-street parking in general then the solution to that is to charge an appropriate rate such that there are always 1-2 spaces open on each block.

    I strongly suggest reading “The High Price of Free Parking” by Donald Shoup.

  12. Alex, thanks for your reply and your thoughts. But the problem is that most of these “townhome” developments are on residential streets, and it’s extremely unlikely the City would charge for parking in such areas. The only restrictions are the 2-4 hour maximum zones (easily circumvented with an RPZ sticker), and the 72-hour rule, which is widely ignored and not efectively enforced.

    So, unfortunately, the upshot is that many vehicles sit in the same spot day after day, hogging parking that others could use.

  13. For the time the building has been unoccupied, people have used that building as a public toilet. The smell is unbearable and has gotten worse. Who’s responsible for this clean up? It’s been a true nuisance to walk by there, I’ve avoided it but inevitably there is a day I forget to walk on the other side of the street but I’m always reminded and surprised that it’s been ignored for this long. Doesn’t it become a public health issue at some point?

  14. The building’s website was set to launch May 1 with hard hat tours a possibility at that time as well. Any updates on the project?